---Alice Abrams

Friday, December 29, 2006

Echoes of a "President"

In Honor of a President: Gerald Ford died at age 93, leaving behind his wife, Betty, 88, and four children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I didn't know a lot about him but I do know that he stepped into his position in history at a very difficult time and did a very brave thing. He pardoned Richard Nixon. He realized that the country was out for Nixon's blood and coming on the heels of Viet Nam, what this country needed was healing, not more blood-letting.

Listening to the comments over the past couple of days, I've learned that he (unlike me) was not a klutz. He was a football star and turned down a football scholarship. He had a knee injury (do I relate to that) that caused him to miss his footing and appear clumsy. He also had a very good golf handicap. I can't speak for the people who happened to land in the path of errant golf balls!

He was faithful to his church (Episcopal) and loved his wife and family deeply. He wanted no pomp and circumstance in life and allowed for just a little in death. His wife acknowledged very publicly a substance dependency and through her brave admission, has provided help for many others.

A common man, brought to the highest office in the land by the shame of another, yet bringing to bear the satisfaction of living life, not in the limelight, but as one who could look himself in the mirror, knowing he had accomplished much.

The irony of the past few days: the funeral of a musical icon who was a junkie, wife-beater and totally immoral; a former president of the US; a dictator hanged. I wonder who will receive the most media coverage.

No comments: